“Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” - Aldo Leopold
The City of Dallas landscape zoning ordinance originated on March 1, 1986 under Chapter 51. On April 25, 1990, the City Council passed a resolution 'to support the protection and preservation of trees across the city.' The amended current version of the landscape ordinance under Chapter 51A, attached to a new tree preservation ordinance, became effective on May 25, 1994. There have been a few amendments to the three divisions of Article X (General, Landscape, and Tree Preservation, Removal and Replacement) in the years since its inception.
The demonstration of the ordinance here is intended solely for educational purposes. This is not an official document. Through this review, the intent is to assist the reader in understanding existing city code as well as presenting different concepts and other ordinances for thought. Comments and discussions presented in these pages in no way represent the official position of the City of Dallas or of the opinion of any city staff. These are general statements and presentations to provide objective public background into the current ordinance and to demonstrate some opinions made by various parties since 2006. It also presents on several pages documents and supportive web sites to assist the reader in understanding concepts and elements of existing code and other proposals. Again, this site does not reflect the official position of the Chief Arborist, the City of Dallas Building Official, or of the arborist office.
Talking points are shown in GREEN while the Urban Forest Advisory Committee recommendations for amendment (based on the 2009 recommendations) are indicated in RED. You can go to each link under Article X to read the section and commentary. Any personal comments made on these pages (by my self or other parties) are NOT regarded as part of 'official' public debate for a city ordinance amendment. Do not assume any comment you may make on these pages to be present in the public record. The presence of this site does not indicate any movement toward, for or against, an ordinance amendment, but reflects only on specific topics for possible amendment that have been disclosed in the public record or discussed between various interested parties.
DeepRoot - YouTube site
Now you can remember....
'I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception.'
A representation of a tree - the whole tree.
UFAC's Recommendations for amendments to Article X. (12/7/10) These are also displayed within the Article X sections below.
You sometimes have legal questions regarding your trees and property rights that involve you and/or your neighbors. I cannot interfere in civil matters but can only provide general knowledge and direct you toward those who can help find those answers. You should contact your attorney, or if you're in Dallas, you may wish to take advantage of the free legal resource from the Dallas Bar Association, LegalLine. It is available on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of the month. They say they will take ANY kind of legal questions. Other communities may have free legal counseling as well.
Article X Chapter 51A of the Dallas Development Code
This is the current landscape and tree ordinance with minor amendments since 1994.
Conservation Easements (also, Community Unit Development)
Complete Streets (Design Manual Draft - City Hall)
Contractor information for landscapers (other than irrigation) and tree services or demolition companies who work to service or remove trees in Dallas.
DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR means a person engaged in the business of site preparation, such as excavating and grading, demolition of buildings and other structures, earth moving, and land clearing for all types of sites (e.g., building, nonbuilding, mining). This includes blasting, building demolition, foundation digging (i.e., excavation), concrete breaking and cutting for demolition, foundation drilling, and trenching.
LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR means a person that is engaged in the business of constructing, maintaining, repairing, installing, or subcontracting the development of landscape systems and facilities. A landscape contractor prepares and grades plots and areas of land for the installation of any architectural, horticultural, and decorative treatment or arrangement.
TREE SERVICE CONTRACTOR means a person engaged in the business of tree service work that includes cutting, trimming, pruning, removing, grinding, or otherwise modifying established trees in accordance with the ANSI A300 Standard Practice for Trees, Shrubs, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance and the ANSI Z-133.1 Safety Standards. (Ord. 28096)
1102.1 General. A contractor listed in Section 1101 who is not registered by the city may not obtain any permit required by this chapter for work defined in Section 1101. (Ord. 28096) [$120 fee. Application and payment in Room 118, OCMC]
1103.1 General. To register with the city as a contractor listed in Section 1101 to perform work described in Section 1101, a person shall apply to the building inspection division in writing on forms furnished for that purpose. The contractor may apply in person or send an agent to apply on behalf of the contractor.
1103.2 Established place of business. Each applicant for registration shall maintain an established place of business at a permanent location. If the established place of business is within the city, a certificate of occupancy must be secured as required in the Dallas Development Code. (Ord. 28096)
1106.1 Suspension or revocation. The building official shall suspend or revoke a certificate of registration granted under this subchapter if the building official finds the contractor or the contractor’s authorized agent:
1. Obtains a certificate of registration or permit by the use of fraud or deceit;
2. Intentionally violates a provision of this chapter; or
3. Exhibits incompetency or commits gross negligence or misconduct in the performance of construction work within the city. (Ord. 28096)
Contact Phil Erwin directly
Comment on urban forest related issues
The ordinance sections below may not be linked, but reflect only the layout of the proposed ordinance in contrast to the existing Article X regulations. New sections are identified.
Article X Derived from 11/11/16 draft of ordinance amendment, and without later revisions.
10.102. Purpose (draft)
10.103. Acceptable Plant Materials (draft)
See List of Arborist Recommended Shrubs for potential uses (NOT official). Contact city arborist for selections.
10.104. Soil and Planting Area Requirements (draft)
10.105. Protection of Planting Areas
10.106. Irrigation Requirements (draft)
10.107. Planters Allowed
10.107.1 Pedestrian Pathways (draft)
10.108. General Maintenance
10.109. Landscape and Tree Manual (draft)
10.110. Special Exceptions (draft)
10.121. Application of Division (draft)
10.122. Artificial Lots (draft)
10.123. Landscape Plan Submission (draft)
10.124. Landscape Plan Review (draft)
10.125 (a). Mandatory Landscaping Requirements - SF and Duplex uses (draft)
10.125 (b). Mandatory Landscaping Requirements - Other uses (draft)
10.126. Design Options (draft)
10.127. When Landscaping Must Be Completed
10.128. Enforcement By Building Official
10.131. Application of Division (draft)
10.132. Tree Removal Applications (draft)
10.133. Historic Trees (draft)
10.133.1 Transplanted Trees (draft)
10.134. Replacement Of Removed Or Seriously Injured Trees (draft)
10.135. Alternative Methods Of Compliance with Tree Replacement Requirements (draft)
10.136. Conservation and Maintenance of Protected Trees During Construction Or Other Disturbance (draft)
10.137. Violation Of This Division (draft)
10.140. Criminal Responsibility, and Defenses To Prosecution (draft)
Guidelines established by city arborist for landscape tree designation.
- Find your property and zoning.
Dallas City Attorney's Office - Web link to the City of Dallas attorney's office with access to the Dallas Development Code, including Volume 4 (Planned Developments). It also includes Public Deed Restrictions.
TIF's and PID's - (Economic Development)
Dallas Water Utilities
Water Wise Landscaping (Dallas Water Utilities)
Chapter 52 Administrative Procedures for the Construction Codes
iSWM Criteria Manual for Site Development and Construction - City of Dallas (June, 2010)